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Direct-To-Shape is Inherently Sustainable

March 4, 2021

Digital direct-to-shape printing on rigid containers is a game changer when it is applicable for mass production. All of the perks of digital printing for short runs – like quality and easy customization – can be done faster, cheaper, with more design options, for ANY quantity. But there is a huge plus to digital printing for mass production with wider impact – sustainability. Everything from the steps and equipment that can be eliminated to the materials used reduces carbon footprint – one of the top criteria brand owners have when selecting a packaging converter or contract packaging companies.

For all the obvious reasons, digital DTS printing is inherently eco-friendly across every aspect of the workflow: in the decoration process, the production line, manufacturing site, and end-to-end product lifecycle.


Container decoration

Digital DTS technology eliminates setup materials such as plates, meshes and blankets. Since the calibration process is no longer required, more than 66 tons of plastic/manufacturer* can be saved each year. But that’s not the only benefit. Digital technology also eliminates the use of several tons of chemicals usually needed to clean the drums between colors and jobs.

The Velox IDS 250 supports 11 process colors (and 3 embellishments) simultaneously providing highly accurate color matching that covers more than 95% of the Pantone Plus color space. The ability to achieve such a wide color gamut removes the need for spot color inks and the additional mixing, storage and handling that goes with it.


Full production line

Velox IDS 250 systems decorate up to 250 containers (i.e. plastic and aluminum tubes, aluminum aerosol cans, etc.) per minute. Printing at production line speed, coupled with significantly reduced downtime (no setup), increases the capacity and efficiency of existing lines by more than 50% annually depending on the printing technology.

Velox’s unique decoration technology also decreases the number of systems and modules needed throughout the decoration process, such as for varnishing, coating, ovens, drying systems and even embellishment units. This is possible because the Velox technology does not require any kind of pre- or post-coating or ink drying; digital gloss, matte and tactile embossing are included as part of the system’s inks.

Utilizing Velox’s mass production DTS digital decoration technology reduces consumption of energy by up to 1.2M kWh, over 370m2 of production footprint, the need to store chemicals and setup materials, chemical handling units, and other resources.


Manufacturing site

Digital DTS decoration skips system setup allowing a significantly shorter changeover time between jobs which greatly simplifies the decoration process. Coupled with high printing speed that meets the production line speed, the Velox solution makes it possible to finally shift to on-demand production.

The implications of on-demand production are clear: it is no longer necessary to maintain stock to meet short delivery times. Inventories can be reduced which means overproduction can be eliminated with huge savings on unused inventory that otherwise would go to waste. This translates into several million tubes and tens of thousands of kilograms of plastics saved, as well as savings on storage space and other associated resources.


End-to-end product lifecycle

Digital decoration reduces transportation and logistical stock requirements, while improving planning and time-to-market – significantly simplifying the supply chain.

Printing directly on the container rather than on labels or sleeves helps to eliminate additional processes and saves on label substrates, glues, and logistics. Even if only 15% of labels are converted to direct digital decoration, the savings of related materials saves up to 50 tons of plastic annually. It also eliminates the need for secondary labels by allowing micro segmentation by, for example, language or country – reducing the need for more materials, contaminants, and inventory, reducing environmental footprint.


Sustainable from start to finish

The sustainability benefits of mass production direct-to-shape digital decoration are seen across every aspect of production. Add to that the ability to print on post-consumer recycled (PCR) and other renewable materials, and it is clear that the sustainability impact of direct-to-shape digital decoration is dramatically greater when used in mass production. The result: a robust, eco-friendly decoration solution for the packaging industry. Talk to us, and we’ll explain how to exceed your sustainability (and production, business, design, branding) goals.


*All calculations are based on an extruded tube manufacturer with annual capacity of 64 million and average run length of 30,000

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